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Title: Ritual View
Authors: Costa, Rosalina
Editors: Merskin, Debra L.
Keywords: James W. Carey
Ritual View
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: COSTA, Rosalina (2020). Ritual View. In Debra L. Merskin (Ed.). The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society (pp. 1490-1491). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.. (Print ISBN: 9781483375533 | Online ISBN: 9781483375519). DOI:
Abstract: A theoretical construct developed within the framework of communications theory, the ritual view concept, was primarily developed by James W. Carey (1934–2006) whose work distinguishes between the view of communication as ritual and the view of communication as the transmission of information. The ritual view emphasizes the power of communication in the construction and maintenance of a sense of community. This idea is consentaneous with the literature coming from the field of ritual studies. As a focus of attention in diverse disciplines, rituals can be understood as events or occasions considered to be special and holding symbolic meanings shared among the participants who thereby feel interconnected. Nowadays, although some observers have advocated for the abandonment of ritual, others recognize its persistence as a powerful tool for constructing social reality and revealing its dynamics. Empirical studies conducted worldwide, especially in media ethnography, have contributed to confirm the continuing interest of using Carey’s ritual view to understand the (in)visible dynamics of communities, not only on a local scale but increasingly in connecting globalization to lived local culture. This entry first compares the ritual view and the transmission view in Carey’s conceptualization and then discusses how the ritual view relates to other research on communication and how it relates to the use of media, particularly online media.
URI: (Online) 9781483375519)
ISBN: (Print) 9781483375533
Type: article
Appears in Collections:SOC - Verbete

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